1st G20 TIWG meeting concluded in Mumbai

Mar 31: The 1st G20 Trade and Investment Working Group (TIWG) meeting concluded today in Mumbai in the presence of  Commerce and Industry Minister, Shri Piyush Goyal. During this three-day working group meeting, over 100 delegates from G20 member countries, invitee countries, regional groupings and international organizations were present in Mumbai, the financial capital of India. The deliberations specifically revolved around accelerating global trade and investment, while simultaneously progressing towards achieving Sustainable Development Goals.

The priorities of global trade and investment, which the Indian Presidency is pursuing, were discussed on March 29th and 30th across four technical closed-door sessions. On March 29th, the deliberations focused on making trade work for growth and prosperity, and the way forward for building resilient Global Value Chains (GVCs). On March 30th, the TIWG priorities on integrating Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) in global trade, and building efficient logistics for trade were discussed in the two working sessions. Theme-based experience zones on spices, millet, tea and coffee were set up at the venue, and an exhibition on textiles was also on display for the delegates to get a glimpse of India’s textile heritage. A cultural program was organized for the G20 delegates at Taj Palace, also the venue for the Gala dinner hosted by India.

In his press interaction, Shri Goyal highlighted the theme of India’s G20 Presidency which aims to promote universal values and adoption of a human-centric approach. While reminiscing Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi’s vision for India’s G20 agenda of inclusive, ambitious, decisive and action-oriented economic growth, he further stated that India chose to take up G20 Presidency during a tough geopolitical and globally critical economic environment since 2023 marks the 75th year of India’s independence, this is an opportune time for the country to share its ancient wisdom with the world to find a middle path. This ancient wisdom can be integrated with advanced technology for building “One Earth, One Family and One Future”. Shri Goyal added that throughout India’s illustrious past, the country has been the torchbearer of democracy, diversity and inclusion.

The Union  Minister restated that TIWG has an important role in formulating concrete outcomes for inclusive growth that drive trade and investment across Global South, and not among G20 member countries only. He strongly advocated for equitable distribution of the benefits of global trade by and among all countries, including developing and least developed countries (LDCs) in order to progress towards a new world that is driven by collaboration, sustainable growth and a solutions-oriented mindset. 

Shri Goyal urged TIWG delegates to take inspiration from the lotus, this year’s G20 symbol and said that the lotus is revered the world over for its ability to bloom unblemished in the murkiest of waters, and together we can find solutions for inclusive economic growth during these volatile economic times.  

On the second and third days of the TIWG meeting, while discussing priority issues, G20 member countries realized the need for collective action to integrate transparency in the administration of non-tariff measures, and cooperation among standardization bodies the world over. The G20 member countries also noted that there is a need for mapping GVCs for building predictability and for enhancing their resilience. 

In the sessions, several member countries affirmed the need for diversification of existing value chains and accelerating the participation of firms from developing countries and LDCs for holistic economic growth. The need for making information and finances easily accessible for MSMEs was discussed in detail during the working sessions. In addition, several countries expressed that the digital entry barriers for MSMEs should be seriously reviewed for their efficient integration with digital trade platforms.

The Secretary, of the Department of Commerce, Shri Sunil Barthwal remarked that the discussions in all four sessions were enriching, and were mostly directed towards action and outcomes. Trade and investment being vital tools for enhancing the local supply of goods and services, Shri Barthwal added that the aim of India’s G20 Presidency is to strengthen the shared understanding of challenges that are hindering the acceleration of global trade and investment, and collectively explore existing opportunities that can be harnessed to find common solutions — guided by this year’s motto — Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam.

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